India can qualify for the WTC final by simply winning their last game; anything else and the team will need to have faith in an opponent’s performance to advance.
The Border-Gavaskar Trophy remains one of cricket’s most prestigious silverware. Competition for this trophy has always been fever pitch for years, and the 2023 edition promises even more drama.
India won the first two matches in this year’s series, and many pundits expected them to see off Australia with ease. But that was not to be as Australia made an unexpected comeback in the third game, beating India on home turf after chasing a 76-runs target in the last innings.
Australia now takes the top spot as it stands on the WTC leaderboard with an aggregate PCT of 69+. India drops to 60 in the PCT but remain in the second spot in the overall rankings, ahead of Sri Lanka in third (53 PCT).
It’s not done and dusted in this series, as there’s still at least one more Test match left. Australia currently trails India and there’s no telling what might happen in the fourth game.
Let’s see how India can still qualify for the WTC final even after losing the 3rd Test match:
India wins the fourth match and gain a 3-1 series victory
India will gain an overall PCT of 63 if they manage to see off Australia in the fourth Test match. Winning the last Test match of this year’s Border-Gavaskar series gives India an easy path to the WTC final ahead of Sri Lanka.
India can’t place first in the WTC standings after losing to Australia without a whitewash or outright miracle. Australia’s PCT will drop to 65 if India wins the last match, but they will still be atop India on the standings going into the final.
India needs an all-out win against Australia to avoid tough permutations or reliance on other opponents to qualify for the final.
India draws the series at 2-2
If Australia somehow defeats India in the fourth Test match, it will be very difficult for the hosts to qualify. India’s loss means they will have to hope for a New Zealand victory or series draw against Sri Lanka. India will qualify for the WTC final if New Zealand doesn’t lose the series by more than 1 match.
A series draw for India and a 2-0 elsewhere for Sri Lanka will reshuffle the WTC standings. Sri Lanka will go up to second with a PCT of 61.0 while India will drop to third.
Sri Lanka needs to achieve a total whitewash of New Zealand to leapfrog India in the WTC standings. An outright victory for India against Australia is the surest way to secure their WTC final berth, no matter what happens elsewhere. A series draw in the Sri Lanka v New Zealand tie will favor India’s chances of advancing to the WTC final too.
How Can India Become the WTC Rankings Leader?
India can overtake Australia in the World Test Championship rankings and lead if any of these scenarios happen:
- India wins the series 3-1 (India wins three matches and Australia wins one)
Other scenarios before the loss to Australia
- India wins the series by a 2-0 score line (India winning 2 and drawing 2 against Australia)
- The series ends 4-0 in favor of India (Australia getting whitewashed throughout matches in the tie)
- India winning 3-0 (India winning three matches and drawing one)
As it stands, India has one chance left to lead the WTC rankings, and it’s a very slim one.
How the WTC Championship table looks right now
- Australia: WTC standings leader with a PCT of 69
- India: Second place in the WTC standings with a PCT of 60
- Sri Lanka: Third place in the World Test Championship standings with a PCT of 53
- South Africa: Fourth place in the WTC leaderboard with a PCT of 49
- England: Fifth in the WTC standings with a PCT of 47
- West Indies: Sixth place in the WTC table with a PCT of 41
- Pakistan: Seventh in the WTC table with 38 PCT
- New Zealand: Eighth in the standings with 27 PCT
- Bangladesh: Ninth in the standings with 11 PCT
Two Test series matches have to take place before we know the two finalists for this year’s ICC World Test Championship. These games – New Zealand v Sri Lanka and South Africa v West Indies might produce some unexpected twists strong enough to send at least one team to the final.
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